May 4, 2016

New FMLA Guide Answers Common Questions

sick puppy illustrating a seriously ill family member for fmla usage

The US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) just released an Employer’s Guide to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This booklet is designed to answer common questions about this complex law and strengthen compliance with its mandated protections.

First, does FMLA apply to your office?

Remember that the FMLA applies only to employers who have 50 or more employees in 20 or more weeks of the year. To be eligible for FMLA, the employee must work at a location where the employer has at least 50 employees within 75 miles. The employee must also have worked for at least 12 months and 1,250 hours.

The biggest confusion generally comes from when and how to properly certify whether a leave is covered by the FMLA. The law provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for a qualified reason. Reasons include caring for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition, recovering from an employee’s own serious health condition, and certain situations arising out a family member in active duty in the military.

Where can you access the Employer Guide?

The Employer Guide is free for download here, at the DOL website.

The DOL also created a version for employees to access, which includes flow charts that explain coverage and eligibility determinations. The Employee Guide is also available through the DOL.

Have an FMLA question? CEDR’s advisors are available to help! Just give us a call at 866-414-6056, or email Even if you’re not yet a CEDR Member, we’ll help medical and dental employers solve one HR issue for free.

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature, and is not intended to replace good counsel about a specific issue with either your attorney or your favorite HR expert.

Friendly Disclaimer: This information is general in nature and is not intended to provide legal advice or replace individual guidance about a specific issue with an attorney or HR expert. The information on this page is general human resources guidance that is believed to be current as of the date of publication. Note that CEDR is not a law firm, and as the law is always changing, you should consult with a qualified attorney or HR expert who is familiar with all of the facts of your situation before making a decision about any human resources or employment law matter.

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Please note: CEDR Solutions specializes in providing expert HR support to owners and operators of independently owned medical and dental practices.